victorian-woman-reading-magnet-c11748947And no, I’m not talking about certain recreational activities.  I’m just wondering where you guys like to read.

See, I used to have this image of a “proper” reader: Someone who sits straight-backed in a chair, or lounges with dignity in an armchair, legs crossed, holding a book in two hands, serenely flipping the pages.

But I discovered early on that I’m not like that.  Me, I sprawl.  I fidget.  I cross my legs in a chair, then turn ninety degrees and hang my legs over the arms, then flop onto the floor and lean against my desk.  I do all sorts of random stuff.  And that’s only at my desk.  So I need space to move.

By and large, there are four reading options for me:


If I’m reading in bed, it’s at night.  And if it’s at night, that means a limited period of time.  Which kinda sucks if I’m in the middle of a really gripping passage, but hey – self control, right?  I also sometimes do work in bed, because I like having the space to spread out.  But when it comes to leisure reading, I find that no matter how I start off (leaning back, cross-legged, etc.), I always end up on my stomach with a pillow under my chin.


For a brief period of time, I actually owned an armchair with those extendable footrests, and lord above, that was wonderful.  This was my ideal reading situation, because I could lounge on my back or side, or I could prop my feet flat, or whatever.  The world was my oyster!  Sadly, the armchair disappeared, and now if I read in a stationary chair, the default position is cross-legged, provided the chair’s big enough.  Otherwise, I start my random fidgeting (see above).


I find them deadly uncomfortable.  Neither bed nor chair nor floor, and just a weird combination of angles that makes for discomfort.  Then again, maybe all that means is that I have an uncomfortable sofa.  So why do I still read there?  Because aside from my front doorstep, it’s the only place I can see the neighourhood.


Weirdly enough, this actually is an option for me.  Sometimes if I know I have to go somewhere, but take the time to read a chapter or two, then I’ll sit on the floor.  It’s comfy enough that I can get immersed in the book, but not soft enough that I’ll plant myself there for ages.  Exception: When I got engrossed in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and didn’t move for hours.

Standing in front of an open window in my bloomers

I’m just kidding.  I don’t actually do that.  (And yes, I know she’s actually wearing a combination.)

I do some outdoor reading, but not a lot, because the bugs love me.  So no outdoor hammocks, although occasionally I plop myself on the front steps.  I hate reading or studying in libraries because the endless quiet sort of freaks me out.  I also do some reading on the subway, but not the bus – that just makes me vomit.

Overall, I’d say my reading venues consist mostly of the bed with a side helping of my armchair.  What about you?  Are there any places I’ve left out that you’d like to share?

– Jean AAR

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